A reader thought I has misrepresented Tolle’s teachings so I thought I would make some additional comments.
Every teacher in the universe will advocate action on some level. It is impossible to teach without directing students to some type of action and I never said Tolle did not advocate taking action. I said that he emphasized that the present is all there is and this was a correct statement. Without going into the value of seeing the past and the future and taking them into consideration in making judgements then the student is likely to ignore the wisdom to be gleaned from the past or the promise of the future.
His teachings on action are somewhat paradoxical like those in many Buddhist and Hindu writings. One of the effects of these teachings is the lack of action and development taken by the nations dominated by these teachings.
Don’t get me wrong, there is truth in these teachings, but their teachers place an incorrect emphasis on inaction and just going with the flow and this is one of the reasons why India has remained as a third world nation for so long.
As a prime example Tolle gives the story of a guru who was wrongly accused of impregnating a lady and he did nothing but yield to the accusations. Then he was told to raise the kid and he just accepted what others told him to do and raised him. Then he was told he had to give the kid up and he did so without consideration of the feelings of the kid. He just did what he was told to do. This story Tolle gave as example of what he sees as right action and right surrender. It also shows no judgement. The guy just did what he was told without using any of his god given power of discernment.
I thought this was a terrible example of how we are supposed to surrender judgement and acquiesce to what is going on around us.
Would this guru also have done what Hitler told him to do and gassed the Jews? You get the impression he may have.
Even though I see Tolle here as giving a misleading emphasis he was talking around a true principle of acceptance so if one reads this in the light of the soul while retaining his power of positive judgement and common sense, he can still get some truth from it.
Tolle does speak of right action, as all teachers do, but this prime example gives us an idea of what he really admires as being right action which is not much different from the yielding of the Hale Bop followers to the instructions of their guru to kill themselves. How far would this guy in the story have to be pushed before he would use judgement and say “enough!?”
He teaches non judgement but then cannot say much without indicating that judgments must be made. This is true of all teachers who teach acquiescence. They cannot say much without contradicting themselves and then advocating judgement.
For instance, we’ve had people come on this group condemning us for making judgements and then judging us as being unloving. No one can say much without judgement entering in.
The story he gives shows actual action he admires and that action is void of judgement or recognition of response to good or evil.
A truth to be gleaned from the story is that we can turn lemons into lemonade. The problem is that we shouldn’t allow every person and his dog to give us lemons as the self has his own right to accept and reject what others want him to do.
Tolle did not accept his given name that his parents wanted for him. If he followed the example of the guru in his story then he would have kept it.
True he says a lot of good things, but then I see other things where he contradicts himself. Sometimes he explains the contradictions as related to the self and not self but other times he does not because they appear to be true contradictions.
The bottom line is this. Even though some of the ways that Tolle words his presentation rubs me the wrong way I would in no way discourage anyone here from reading him and incorporating into their lives that which seems right to their souls.
You seem to think my problem with him is that I just glossed over his teachings, but I think I absorbed them pretty well.
That said I want you to resist a black and white interpretation of my comments on him. I am not saying “me right and Tolle wrong.”
Overall, he is a good writer and has some productive things to say. Even the things I see as wrong emphasis have truth behind them if seen in the light of the soul. I think his writings are better than “The Celestine Prophecy” and “Conversations with God.”
It would be boring for me to just list all his teachings with which I agree, but it is more thought provoking to point out where wrong directions may lie. This gives us food for thought and stimulates our own power of judgement.
Again, I would bet if you specifically tell me of truths you gleaned from his writings that I would agree with you.
More On Oneness
I was asked to make additional comments on the Oneness Principle as it applies to the seeker. It is true that the main purpose of the soul in relation to truth and the seeker is to verify truth and principles.
BUT the soul and the Oneness principle are two different things. The power of the soul opens the door to the Oneness Principle which is essentially like a grand spiritual internet. Now what creates misunderstandings about it is that there are many degrees of access. Some just have e-mail, some have an old and limited browser and others have a good updated one.
The beginning of accessing the Oneness Principles is through the understanding of principles themselves and though such mutual understanding two seekers can see eye to eye beyond that of two people educated in the standard manner. All true principles are available through the Oneness Principle but accessing data accurately can be accomplished by few in mortality. The Masters are able to do this to a much higher degree than ourselves and can peer into the past that is hidden from the standard disciple.
To complain that life has no joys while there is a single creature whom we can relieve by our bounty, assist by our counsels or enliven by our presence, is … just as rational as to die of thirst with the cup in our hands. —Thomas Fitzosborne
March 13, 2008
To search the website, containing millions of words, replace the word “search” with the word or phrase you want to find and place the entire line in the Google search box.
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